Tuesday, 31 January 2017 18:16

Menswear Must Have The Cricket Jumper

Raf Simons Cricket Jumper The Chic GeekIt all started with Raf Simons with his AW16 collection and, now, it’s the knitwear neckline du jour. The quintessentially British cricket jumper has been grunged up and distressed and become less gentleman's summer sport and more urban and edgy thanks to designers such as Alessandro Michele at Gucci. Brands such as Stella McCartney and Kent & Curwen have all done their interpretation of the cricket V and there's plenty of mileage in this style as many brands such as the Spanish knitwear brand, Sweaterhouse, is showing them for AW17. If you don't want to pay designer prices then pop to your local sports store, university or school shop and buy the largest size they have.

Left - Raf Simons AW16 

Best Fashion Cricket Jumpers AMI MatchesfashioncomLeft - AMI - £225 - matchesfashion.com

Below - Prada SS17

Menswear Prada The Chic Geek

Stella McCartney Cricket Jumper The Chic GeekLeft - Stella McCartney - £570 MRPORTER.COM

Cricket jumper menswear Gucci Left - Gucci - £560 - MRPORTER.COM

Below - Kent & Curwen - £495 - MRPORTER.COM

Best Men's Cricket Jumpers Kent & Curwen

Raf Simons Oversized Cricket Jumper MenswearLeft - Raf Simons AW16

Cricket Jumper Smart Turnout The Chic Geek MenswearLeft - Smart Turnout - £149

Below - Cambridge University - Magdalene College Cricket Sweater - Ryder & Amies - £110

Cambridge University Cricket Jumper 

Katerina Steventon Serum Anti Ageing reviewBased in East Yorkshire, Dr Katerina Steventon has launched an anti-ageing serum to address concerns about wrinkles and vertical lines. Named ‘4’ after the four regenerative plant oils - jojoba, rose hip, camellia, echium and four technologically advanced active ingredients - marine micro algae, Indian gentian leaves, Renovage, (the brand name for trepenone, developed by the French skin care company Sederma and used for anti-ageing and skin stress) and liquorice and it is promoted alongside her ‘Faceworkshops’. Over her career she has worked at La Prairie, Shiseido and Smith and Nephew wound healing.

Left - Katerina Steventon 4 Anti-Ageing Serum - 15ml - £52.90

TheChicGeek says, “A new Doctor brand, Katerina Stevenson says over 20 years' experience has gone into this serum. It’s light, non-greasy and is applied before your moisturiser twice a day.

For Katerina it is all about the massage and the ritual of applying the product and with it being an oil-type consistency, this makes it easier to do this. 

It’s labelled a serum, but I would call this an oil. I like oils as they feel nourishing and feed the skin. They feel more physical than a normal cream type product. 

Katerina says it’s a hybrid product: serum in the morning, massage oil in the evening. The ‘Vertical Line Massage’ - she shows you how to do this on her site - is a prep before the product, but also an exercise for the facial muscles. I’ve seen this promoted before, when Creme de la Mer launched their Renewal Oil - see review here - but I didn’t do this with this product.

It says you need only a few drops of the rape seed coloured product, but I felt I needed more and the more I used the less it felt like an oil. It has a good consistency, absorbs well and smells good. Interestingly, people said how well I looked a few days after using this. A coincidence maybe?

These type of products are for the long-term, but I like a product somebody puts their name and face behind. A lot of these products you have to have an instinct for on whether they are working. This one I would say yes and would definitely look into trying the massage techinques. People can't expect to reduce ageing by simply and lazily apply a product. It makes sense you need to exercise, like the rest of your body, in order to keep it firm and looking its best.”

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 13:53

Tried & Tested Grüum

Review Gruum grooming made in uk The Chic GeekTailored to your face. Delivered to your door. Grüum is a new concept in male grooming that they say will revolutionise how men shop for their bathroom essentials. 

Founded in the UK by four friends who thought there was something missing, grüum was created to deliver personalised quality, simplicity, form and function.

The grüum concept is designed as a monthly subscription service and is free from EDTA, parabens, sulphates, SLS, SLES, artificial fragrances, colours and made in the UK. 

Grüum kits starting from just £6 per month.

TheChicGeek says, “Men are inherently lazy. We’re not very good at replacing our products, especially razor blades, using them even though they are well past their best. I like these new start-up mail-order/internet grooming brands - see the Dutch Boldking here - they offer something fresh and seem to speak in a modern way to guys.

The website looks good and you answer a few questions to see which kit/products suit your needs.

I think I got sent a deluxe kit as it had everything in it: from beard oil to face wash to razor and blades.

This clean Scandi-type packaging, which is everywhere ATM, all starts to lack personality and isn’t very memorable. It also doesn’t make the products feel ‘special’.  

I felt the kit centred around the razor so decided to focus on that and the complementary shave products. The razor design, in particular the handle, is good, but the razor feels and shaves like a cheap, plastic disposable. I used the shave gel, but no amount of product made this comfortable or easy. I used the face wash and daily moisturiser on a recent trip to Berlin and the packaging and sizes make this ideal for travel.

Nothing stood out here, but then again I didn’t use every product. I think it’s important they get the razor right as this is the fulcrum in most men’s grooming regimes and a bad one doesn’t start your day on the right foot.”

Feb' 2017 - Update - After reading my review, Bethanie, one of the co-founders and Marketing Director, sent me their new tweaked cartridges to try. They don't look any different, but they are a massive improvement. The shave was much more comfortable, even with the long stubble I had, and a regular amount of product.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:53

Tried & Tested JOOP! WOW!

Review Joop WOW fragrance men'sJOOP! WOW! awakens all the senses with captivating top notes of bergamot, cardamom and violet-leaf. A blend of rich absolutes: irresistibly sensual fir balsam, darkly masculine tonka bean and dangerously warm vanilla surabsolute. The foundation is the supremely woody base, noble combination of distinctive woods, vetiver and cashmeran, a memorable signature, full of masculinity, intensity and texture.

TheChicGeek says, “Joop fragrances became synonymous with toilet attendants in dodgy night spots and as such the brand was tinged with the dreaded ‘naff’ label. It’s never really resonated as a fashion brand here, unlike in Europe, and as such doesn’t have much identity.

Pronounced Joop with a J here, or with a Y on the continent, it wasn’t cool enough for people to look pretentious by saying it properly. 

Left - JOOP! WOW - 60ml EDT - £39

Time for a clean slate then. Coty, the brand license owner for fragrance, has made an effort with this one. The scent is good. It’s warm, woody and amber-like without being sticky which often happens at this price point. 

There’s masculine favourites of vetiver and tonka bean in there and a few gourmand ingredients such as vanilla and green notes such as geranium.

I just think there’s a disconnect between the name, the fragrance and the imagery and bottle. The image is of a mature (gentle)man, the fragrance is quite grown-up and the bottle looks likes a miniature of whisky, while the name ‘WOW!’ seems more immature, fun and for the younger, social media generation. 

I actually like the name WOW! it’s quite pop, but it seems more suited to maybe a Marc Jacobs fragrance then something with the serious and old-fashioned hashtag #thescentthatmakestheman

The simple bottle design doesn’t have any shelf appeal and isn’t gimmicky enough. I think they want the One Million crowd with this one.

The fragrance isn’t wow, but then what is? But, it’s good.” 

Monday, 16 January 2017 16:08

Hot List The Super Holdall

Troubadour holdall black duffle bagThis bag is the bomb. Actually, Troubadour should call this the ‘Bomb’, as it hasn't got a name.

British accessories brand, Troubadour, produce some great luggage and accessories and has, over the last few years, been growing their range and developing and enhancing their products.

I’ve been watching their progress and they know exactly what their stylish customers want: capacity, functionality, quality and understated branding.

If this was a ‘designer’ bag it would easily have a 1 in front of the number. It’s a giant holdall slash rucksack that could easily hold a week's holiday or trip. Stitch-free straps are injected with technical rubber for comfort and an external side pocket, top flap and internal mesh side pockets complete the design. The fabric body is strengthened by the crossing over leather straps while keeping the weight down.

You’ll look like a chic Action Man and carrying it will be the most stylish workout you’ve ever had. Now, squat!

Left & Below - Troubadour - Fabric + Leather Duffle - £895

Black holdall The Chic Geek

Chic Geek comment on the state of menswear & LFWMLondon’s men’s fashion week got its Ronseal title, this season, replacing the old London Collections: Men moniker. The change didn’t make any difference to the lack of content and money, unfortunately, but, hopefully, it meant more to the wider public with many still not realising there even was a men’s fashion week in London.

Left - Daniel W Fletcher Presentation

London and Britain, is good at fashion, we’re good at menswear, we should celebrate it and this is the event to do that at. Twice a year, we come together, test the temperature of the industry and move forward in the way fashion always does. There will always be ups and downs and better and worse seasons, but ultimately it’s big business, from luxury to high-street, and we’re one of the best at it. Let’s champion that.

LFWM is just more pointless than previously, yet still necessary. It needs to be done, otherwise other cities will take the focus away from London and London needs to seen as a centre of ideas and fashion. 

When we leave Europe, the British Fashion Council need to lobby the government for more funding for an industry that employs so many people and encourages people to visit and shop in the UK. If we’re going to build a successful post-European future we need to focus on areas we are good at. Creativity is one of those areas. Fashion links many of these together and is the energy and catalyst for newness.

When then pedestrianise Oxford Street, fashion weeks should move there into see-through marquees and become inclusive to those interested in it and bankrolling it on the pavements either side.

What’s the opposite to ‘having a moment’? Because this is what menswear is currently facing. It’s not solely a London problem, affecting all the main fashion cities, but as fashion is a business, when it needs to change and save money, things get cut.

There was lots of talk during LFWM about whether this would be the last one, but I think if it was going to disappear it would have done so this season. The doom and gloom of the last LC:M was replaced with an optimism that things can only get better and the acceptance that those big brands, now missing, are gone. It’s okay, nobody died.

This was a medicated fashion week. A fashion week on Prozac. Things weren’t as important as before, so it felt more democratic. The must-have tickets didn’t exist so people were more equal than ever. The have and have-nots of fashion weren’t as separate and it felt more inclusive and less frantic.

One of the problems I have it predictablity. Designers showing exactly what you think they’re going to show. They don’t move their collections on. I don’t expect a 180 u-turn every season, but as nobody is really buying anything anyway what do they have to lose? They just make you wonder why you turned up. A signature style is fine, but a designer known for tasteful newness will always excel.

Another, is this idea that fashion collections look a certain way. It’s all a bit graduate Fashion Scout,  and was new sometime in the Thatcher era. The bong-bong-bong music and po-faced press releases suck the life out of the spectacle and the audience and has the bullshit detector on max. Fashion always needs its wanky, taking-itself-too-seriously label, I get that, but there’s only so much eye rolling one can do.

So, let’s think positive. When things hit rock bottom things can only go up. This half glass full attitude to men’s is what will keep it going. Those big brands disappearing will create room for something new: a vacuum for the future. The future is close, we just need to entertain ourselves until it arrives.